Malawi

How did Malawi end its chronic food shortage issues? Funny you should ask:

Over the past 20 years, the World Bank and some rich nations Malawi depends on for aid have periodically pressed this small, landlocked country to adhere to free market policies and cut back or eliminate fertilizer subsidies, even as the United States and Europe extensively subsidized their own farmers. But after the 2005 harvest, the worst in a decade, Bingu wa Mutharika, Malawi’s newly elected president, decided to follow what the West practiced, not what it preached.

Stung by the humiliation of pleading for charity, he led the way to reinstating and deepening fertilizer subsidies despite a skeptical reception from the United States and Britain. Malawi’s soil, like that across sub-Saharan Africa, is gravely depleted, and many, if not most, of its farmers are too poor to afford fertilizer at market prices.

It’s not mentioned in the article, but I wonder to what extent the West’s insistence on keeping African countries chronically short of food is that they need some place to dump their own subsidy-induced excess crops. If countries around the world had no use for excess U.S. and E.U. grain and corn, it’d be harder to justify our own subsidies.

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